Wednesday, January 08, 2020

The Forever WORD

The grass withereth,
the flower fadeth:
but the Word of our God
shall stand for ever.

(Isaiah 40:8) 

This is one of the most comforting verses of Scripture. There are many other similar verses, including:

For ever, O LORD,
Thy Word
is settled in heaven.

(Psalm 119:89)

Concerning Thy Testimonies,
I have known of old that
Thou hast founded them for ever.

(Psalm 119:152) 

Jesus admonished His disciples :

For verily I say unto you,
Till heaven and earth pass,
one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law,
till all be fulfilled.

(Matthew 5:18) 

Heaven and earth shall pass away,
but My Words shall not pass away.

(Matthew 24:35)

In our turbulent times, when it feels like everyone has pressed the "mass insanity" button, we can be encouraged by the timelessness of God's Word. Indeed, this past year it feels as if a switch was flipped and suddenly God has given many over to full-fledged reprobate minds. Everywhere in the media and social media there is rampant lying and brazen deceiving, cruel mockings and brutal bullyings, gratuitous vulgarities and indecent lewdness, and malicious threats of violence. It comes as no surprise that real violence is escalating across the land.

We took a step back from publishing for the past few months, aghast at what was unfolding before our very eyes. We were reluctant to write about current events, wishing to avoid the extreme polarization of political winds, and dismayed what can only be described as a "great falling away" within evangelicaldom (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

As God gives grace and wisdom we will resume writing. But in the meantime, while rummaging through some old computer archives, we discovered today's set of verses in a devotional dating back to 2002. These Scriptures seemed so current, and so encouraging, that we are sharing them with our readers. May you be blessed as you forge ahead, obediently following the Lord in 2020.

Stay in the Word
Technology is now the biggest lure to keep our eyes focused on devices, and not the simplicity of the Word of God. Our addicted brains are addled by incessant stimulations of the senses, and we are losing our sweet contact with the Lord. Profound temptations entice us to leave our "first love" and drunkenly immerse ourselves in media, social media and techno-media (Revelation 2:4). Truly we are in need of the "eyesalve" of Revelation 3:18!

A Christian cannot grow nor flourish without the constant sustenance of God's Word (Psalm 1:2-3). In his first letter the apostle Peter gives a description of the importance of being born again by God's Word, preaching the Gospel by God's Word, and staying in God's Word:

1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 
25 But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you. 

Peter further describes the importance of God's Word to sustaining our daily walk of faith:

2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby: 
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 
4 To Whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 
7 Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light: 
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 
12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The Kept Word
In the letter to the church at Philadelphia the apostle John heard the Lord state that this church had "kept My Word and has not denied My name" (Revelation 3:8). But, as was the case with the other seven churches mentioned in Revelation, Satan was ever on the prowl, "seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Therefore the Lord told John regarding this church, that

Because thou hast kept the Word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world,
to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Behold, I come quickly:
hold fast which thou hast,
that no man take thy crown.
(Revelation 3:10-11)